What is the origin of the last name Singh?

The last name Singh, primarily found among individuals of Indian origin, has a rich historical origin. Derived from the Sanskrit word for "lion," Singh was adopted by members of the Sikh community as a mandatory last name in the late 17th century, under the leadership of their tenth guru, Guru Gobind Singh. This practice aimed to foster a sense of equality and unity among Sikhs, irrespective of their caste or clan, by eradicating the prevalent caste-based surnames. The surname Singh is therefore emblematic of the Sikh faith's commitment to equality, strength, and bravery.

Countries of origin for the last name Singh

The last name Singh is primarily of Indian origin and is most commonly associated with people of Sikh faith. It is derived from the Sanskrit word “simha,” which means “lion.” Singh is a common surname among male Sikhs, who adopt it as a mandatory part of their names to signify their initiation into the Khalsa, a religious community formed by Guru Gobind Singh in the late 17th century.

The significance of the name Singh lies in its historical and cultural context. Sikhism, which emerged in the Punjab region of India during the 15th century, emphasizes the importance of equality and justice. The choice of Singh as a surname is rooted in the Sikh belief in the unification of all human beings as equal under the one supreme creator, regardless of caste or social status.

The use of the surname Singh is not limited to Indian Sikhs, as it has also been adopted by many individuals of Punjabi origin, regardless of their religious affiliation. It has become a widely recognized symbol of Sikh identity and serves to express pride in their heritage.

While Singh is primarily a male surname, there are also instances where it is used as a middle or last name for females. This usage is less common, but it reflects the evolving nature of naming traditions and the increasing number of women taking on non-traditional roles in modern society.

Outside of the Sikh community, the surname Singh may also be found among individuals of Indian descent who do not identify as Sikh. In these cases, it could be an indicator of ancestral connection to the Punjab region or a reflection of the cultural influence of Sikhism on Indian society as a whole. However, it is important to note that Singh is a very common last name in India, and its presence does not necessarily imply Sikh heritage.

The popularity of the last name Singh extends beyond India and the Indian diaspora. Due to various historical factors, such as British colonialism and migration, individuals with the surname Singh can be found in different parts of the world. In countries like the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia, the name Singh is not uncommon among individuals of Indian and Sikh origin.

As a surname, Singh has a rich cultural significance and carries a sense of identity and heritage for those who bear it. It represents a connection to the Sikh faith and its values, while also serving as a visible symbol of shared history and community.

Interesting facts about the last name Singh

  • The surname Singh is derived from the Sanskrit word “Simha,” which means lion.
  • Singh is a common surname among Sikhs and is mandatory for all baptized male Sikhs.
  • The surname Singh was adopted by Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru, as a symbol of courage, bravery, and equality among Sikhs.
  • It is estimated that Singh is one of the most popular surnames in the world, particularly in India and among the Sikh diaspora.
  • The surname Singh was originally used as a title by Rajput warriors and Hindu Kshatriyas in ancient India.
  • Singh is also a common surname among non-Sikh Punjabis and Rajputs.
  • Many famous personalities across various fields, including politics, sports, and entertainment, carry the surname Singh.
  • There are multiple variations of the surname Singh, such as Singha, Sinha, Singhania, and Singhal.
  • The Singh surname signifies an individual’s commitment to Sikh values, such as truth, justice, and righteousness.
  • In Sikh tradition, women often adopt the surname Kaur, which means princess, as a counterpart to the surname Singh.

Name Rank


There are around 116749 people with the last name Singh in the US

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